Williamson concerned about impact of new technologies

Criminals are believed to have used telephones during their law-breaking

Customs Minister Maurice Williamson has expressed concern that new technologies are allowing criminals to  more easily break the law.

He today expressed particular concern at the rising popularity of 3D printers.

“If people could print off … sheets of Ecstasy tablets at the party they’re at at that time that just completely takes away our border protection role in its known sense”, said Mr Williamson.

Williamson said government officials were now working to find ways to counter the threats to New Zealand’s security posed by recent technological advances.

He is particularly concerned that the internet enables people in different countries to communicate with each other with ease.

“All the available evidence suggests that the internet is regularly used by criminal cartels to organise the distribution of guns, narcotics and stolen goods”, said Williamson.

“The ease with which criminals can access Google Maps is a matter that needs urgent action.”

Photocopiers have also been used in the commission of some crimes, and Williamson said he wanted to see a strict licensing regime established around who could access and use a photocopier.

Williamson said he also planned to talk to Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee about introducing tougher controls on the supply of motor vehicles, after it was revealed that criminals were frequently using cars, trucks, and even vans to drive to their targets.

It is also widely believed that drug-dealers and people-smugglers regularly use telephones to make travel arrangements for their cargo.

“It is simply insane that you can walk down almost any main road and find a telephone”, said Williamson. “People are even carrying them around in their pockets.

“I’m not saying we should impose a total ban all telephones”, said Williamson  “But it may be time to pause and consider the potential for their misuse.”